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Productivity and Sources of Enterprise Level Efficiency in Armenia Dr. Karen Grigorian Dr. Vahram Stepanyan AIPRG Annual Conference May 17-18, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Productivity and Sources of Enterprise Level Efficiency in Armenia Dr. Karen Grigorian Dr. Vahram Stepanyan AIPRG Annual Conference May 17-18, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Productivity and Sources of Enterprise Level Efficiency in Armenia Dr. Karen Grigorian Dr. Vahram Stepanyan AIPRG Annual Conference May 17-18, 2008

2 2 The Objective of the Study Provide an analysis of the productivity in the Armenian private sector Provide policy conclusions that can be used to encourage the enhancement of productivity in Armenia

3 3 Our Approach Focus on the potential determinants of company productivity, drawing on the large theoretical and empirical literatures Empirical analysis of a survey of 300 Armenian firms in the manufacturing and service sectors in the years Based on this analysis, estimate TFP and use the estimates to explore the determinants of productivity

4 4 Our Approach (cont.) We also investigate the pattern of variation in TFP in firms across industries, time and region over this period We base our formulations on studies of productivity in other transition economies, including those of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union

5 5 Determinants of TFP Three factors in the transition literature that are expected to influence the level and rate of change of total factor productivity: – competition – ownership (notably foreign ownership) – characteristics of the firm (age of the firm) The TFP studies of CEE, CIS and China generate a fairly clear overall picture - foreign ownership raises productivity

6 6 Determinants of TFP (cont.) In China and CEE, the estimates suggest that private domestic ownership also raises TFP relative to state ownership CIS is different in that the performance effect of privatization to domestic owners is found to have a negative or insignificant effect on TFP, and that is probably because of weaknesses in the institutional framework

7 7 Estimation Methods We use the stochastic frontier framework to measure the technical inefficiency of the economic agents This methodology allows us to evaluate the performance of each agent, relative to a common estimated best-practice frontier of production

8 8 Data 300 enterprises in Armenia covering the period 2003 to Industrial firms in 11 sectors, including chemicals, textiles, jewelry and beverages as well as services Information about output, labor input and factors influencing productivity such as ownership, legal status, privatization and competitive pressures

9 9 Results Our estimates suggest that productivity in the average firm in Armenia is calculated to be 78.12% of the level found in most efficient firm in the country. The standard deviation around this estimate is around 20%, which suggests that the least efficient firms are probably operating at 60% of the productivity of the most efficient firms

10 10 Results (cont.) Estimates of Median TFP Source : Caves (1992), Jones, Kleindinst and Rock (1998), Sabiorianova, Svejnar and Terrell (2005) Armenia0.78 Japan0.7 Korea0.67 Canada0.5 – 0.7 Bulgaria0.6 – 0.72 Czech Republic0.67 – 0.78 Russia0.45 – 0.49

11 11 Results (cont.) While the estimated mean level of TFP in Armenian firms was 78.12% of the most efficient firms, this mean value did not vary to any significant extent across the three years of the study This implies that we have not been able to identify a positive significant technical progress (increase in TFP) over the period of our study

12 12 Results (cont.) There is no significant difference in TFP on average between the industrial and service industries Technical efficiency is found to be highest in the jewelry, furniture and juice sector as well as mining. It is lowest, on the other hand, in chemicals, textiles and construction The service sector operates more or less exactly at the mean of technical efficiency across the economy

13 13 Results (cont.) We find virtually no difference in average levels of TFP between firms that export and those that do not We find that the mean estimated values of TFP are virtually identical in foreign owned and domestic firms The analysis reveals some variation in technical efficiency on average across regions

14 14 Solow Production Function Results The estimated function is largely consistent with our results using stochastic frontier methods We also confirm in a single equation most of the findings with respect to variation in TFP discussed above In this approach we find a very weak but positive effect of competition, via export category, on TFP

15 15 Policy Conclusions The study suggests that Armenia did not experience any growth in TFP during the observed period. Thus technical progress at the level of firms is playing no part in the Armenian growth process. This indicates the urgent need for policy to ensure faster dissemination of new technologies and know-how and the improvement of labor skills

16 16 Policy Conclusions (cont.) There is at best mixed evidence that competition is having a positive effect on TFP This is probably because competitive pressures are not yet strong enough in Armenia There is no evidence that FDI acts to increase productivity in Armenian firms

17 17 Policy Conclusions (cont.)

18 18 Policy Conclusions (cont.) The Armenian economy would benefit from a second stage of reforms so that economic development can become more firmly based on productivity growth at the enterprise level A comparison of Armenia with the international experience highlights three inter-related areas where policy development could improve the environment in a manner consistent with attaining this objective

19 19 Recommendations Policies to improve domestic competition Policies to improve further the institutional environment, especially with respect to the enforcement of property rights and the reduction of investor risk Policies to encourage foreign direct investment, targeted to sectors where the horizontal and vertical linkages could be maximized

20 20 Recommendations (cont.) In the second stage of reform in Armenia, considerable emphasis should be placed on analyzing and evaluating the barriers to entry of new firms It is very important that a sound Competition Policy is put in place, that it is operated by an agency which is independent of the government, and that it is quickly seen to be effective in the implementation of the Law

21 21 Recommendations (cont.) Protection of property rights via the legal system - this concerns less the nature of the laws that have been enacted than the consistency of their enforcement Encouraging foreign direct investment - should Armenia also consider active policies to encourage FDI? Yes!

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